Vivo might be the largest cellphone model you’ve by no means heard of. China’s second largest cellphone model – behind solely Huawei – hasn’t made its huge worldwide push but. But it surely’s coming, and the X50 Professional is a part of the primary wave.
The X50 and the X50 Professional are the primary telephones in Vivo’s upper-mid-range X collection to get a global launch – although the top-end X50 Professional+ is staying in China in the intervening time.
The X50 is a fairly customary mid-range machine, however the X50 Professional is a bit more particular, boasting the world’s first built-in gimbal stabilisation for a cellphone digicam – a possible sport changer for each video and night-time images.
Digital camera: Shake it like a Polaroid image
OK, first off: sure, I do know you’re not meant to shake Polaroids, don’t @ me.
However extra importantly: you possibly can shake the Vivo X50 Professional. The Professional (and the China-only Professional+) are the primary retail telephones to function the smartphone gimbal tech that Vivo first confirmed off in its Apex 2020 idea cellphone earlier this 12 months.
In the event you don’t know, a gimbal is a stabiliser that basically mounts the digicam in order that it floatsm and strikes it in the other way to any exterior motion – akin to shaky fingers – to maintain the picture itself steady. They’re often huge cumbersome bits of package utilized in skilled filming setups, however over the previous few years they’ve shrunk sufficiently small for use to mount smartphones, as within the DJI Osmo Cellular collection, and now Vivo has squeezed one right into a cellphone itself.
To be clear, the gimbal tech is just constructed into the 48Mp major lens, however that is sensible – that’s the one you’ll most frequently use for filming video or taking the long-exposure night time time photographs the place it helps. It gives dual-axis stabilisation, however is paired with three-axis digital stabilisation to amplify the impact.
For video, the impact is straight away apparent. Whether or not it’s making an attempt to carry a gentle single-shot, or filming one thing inherently shaking like taking pictures whereas strolling, the X50 Professional smooths out the worst of digicam shake. There’s a slight stickiness each time you pan, because the gimbal at first tries to compensate for the motion, however past that there’s little or no draw back right here, and fairly apparent upside to video high quality.
This might be of area of interest enchantment to most – although I do know loads of YouTubers and vloggers who will little doubt get a kick out of it – however anybody who shoots any video, even only for Instagram Tales or TikTok, whereas discover instantly improved outcomes. An non-obligatory on-screen visible support reveals you if you’re shifting an excessive amount of for the gimbal to compensate for, and the Extremely Secure mode crops the video in additional to mix the gimbal with further digital stabilisation.
Relating to common photographs, that 48Mp lens produces photographs with shiny, punchy colors and first rate dynamic vary. There’s rather less element than I anticipated, and occasional artifacting and noise that creep in, however total this can be a lots succesful shooter.
There is a noticeable drop intimately if you shift to the 8Mp ultrawide, however that is to be anticipated, and its color vary is sort of as spectacular as the principle digicam’s. The periscope zoom is not dangerous both – it positively cannot match Huawei or Oppo’s tech for holding element at excessive zoom ranges, however they’re the very best of the very best, and this is not dangerous in any respect.
Change to nighttime mode or astro images and you will see the gimbal chill in to regular these lengthy and a number of publicity photographs. I had excessive expectations right here, and admit I used to be a bit upset. The gimbal is clearly doing its work in preserving element and sharpness, however there’s nonetheless loads of noise, and the color copy is clearly manner off Google and Apple’s, with an inclination to attempt to make low mild photographs appear to be they had been taken in daylight. It additionally does not possess that magic capability to salvage photographs taken in pitch black circumstances – you may nonetheless get pitch black again.
On the selfie aspect, there’s only one lens, providing a excessive 32Mp decision however a much less spectacular aperture of f/2.5. That element shines by in crisp selfies and portrait photographs, however you positively miss out on the color vary a bit.
All-in-all the X50 Professional’s digicam setup is nice for regular video, and stable for the whole lot else. This is not the very best digicam round, and it isn’t even the very best digicam at this worth level, however it’s succesful, versatile, and particularly robust on video not less than.
Specs: Not fairly Professional, however shut sufficient
The X50 Professional’s digicam could impress, however the Professional moniker feels rather less relevant to the remainder of the cellphone’s internals, that are extra upper-mid-range than professional customary.
On the coronary heart of the cellphone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G, a 5G-enabled chipset that gained’t fairly match the top-tier Snapdragon 865 (or not too long ago introduced 865+) however will maintain its personal.
Vivo has paired the 765G with 8GB of RAM and a alternative of 128GB or 256GB storage (availability could find yourself various by market). The result’s greater than sufficient oomph for most individuals – the cellphone flies by day-to-day duties. Although as you possibly can see in our benchmarks, it does notably lag behind the 865-powered OnePlus 8 – and even the Realme X3 SuperZoom utilizing final 12 months’s Snapdragon 855 – in demanding CPU and GPU efficiency.
There’s a single speaker – no stereo sound, sadly – and no headphone jack both. There’s NFC not less than, so contactless funds are supported, and there’s Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 5 – not the newer Wi-Fi 6 customary.
As for biometrics, you should utilize the one selfie digicam for face unlock, although it gained’t be too safe. The in-display fingerprint sensor is best, and is likely one of the sooner, extra dependable in-display sensors I’ve used but.
Talking of that show: it’s a 6.5in curved AMOLED, with Full HD+ decision, HDR10, and a refresh fee of 90Hz. In the event you don’t communicate specs, that mainly means it’s shiny, vivid, and clean, although gained’t be fairly as crisp or clean because the QHD and 120Hz shows on some flagships this 12 months. Most individuals gained’t have the ability to inform the distinction anyway although, and truthfully I’ve discovered this display a constant pleasure to make use of.
Lastly, battery life. With a 4,315mAh cell the X50 Professional fairly comfortably lasts a full day’s use, even with the always-on show turned on, and will last more with out it. 33W quick charging isn’t the very best round on paper, however in my checks it averaged 62% cost in half an hour – up on Vivo’s personal 57% declare, and quick sufficient to fulfill even probably the most ardent velocity freaks.
Word that there’s no wi-fi charging, and in addition no IP ranking for waterproofing.
Design: X hits the spot
I’ve gotta say, if there’s one factor that’s shocked me in regards to the X50 Professional it’s how a lot I’ve loved the design, construct, and easy really feel of the cellphone.
The Professional is just accessible globally in a color known as Alpha Gray, an attractively muted gradient. It’s completed in matte frosted glass, which appears to be like nice and feels concurrently clean and grippy – you don’t fear that it’s gonna slide proper out of your hand, however it doesn’t sacrifice any of its slick, premium really feel to get there.
It helps that with a 6.5in display it’s an enormous cellphone, however not uncomfortably so. The curved show hits the candy spot between consolation, fashion, and practicality, and at 181g it’s reassuringly weighty with out feeling heavy within the hand.
The punch-hole selfie digicam is unobtrusive, and I really like Vivo’s introduction of a two-step rear digicam module which permits the principle lens to jut out from the physique – a necessity provided that gimbal – whereas preserving the periscope a bit extra flush, and completed in a distinct tone. It someway makes the chunky digicam module really feel smaller than it’s, a intelligent flourish that Samsung might be taught a factor or two from.
If I used to be allowed one small grievance, it will be the selection to emblazon the cellphone’s high edge with a holographic ‘5G: Skilled Pictures’ graphic. It’s small, it’s delicate, and you may principally neglect it’s there. But it surely’s nonetheless fairly dumb trying.
Software program: No enjoyable
And right here’s the massive caveat to the X50 Professional: the software program. Whereas it ships with Android 10 (good) it’s lined up by Vivo’s Funtouch OS (dangerous).
Anybody who used a Huawei, Xiaomi, or Oppo cellphone earlier than these firms made their huge push into the west will know that Chinese language software program sensibilities differ to the west’s, and Funtouch nonetheless reveals it. In equity to Vivo Funtouch is now so much higher than it was on the final Vivo machine I reviewed, final 12 months’s Nex 3, however there’s nonetheless work to be executed.
There’s quite a lot of customisability, however it’s frankly overwhelming at occasions, and there’s no clear inside logic to the format of the settings part. The result’s that it’s ceaselessly tough to search out the settings you need to change, and that if typically entails combating previous unrelated choices you barely perceive.
It’s additionally curiously unrespectful of person decisions. The cellphone ships with a collection of rotating lockscreen wallpapers. I turned these off, changing them with certainly one of my very own images – a course of which itself took 5 minutes of enjoying with settings to determine. Ever since, I get a pop-up notification as soon as each few days asking if I need to resume the lockscreen posters and get Vivo’s “lovely wallpapers” once more. It’s not fairly as egregious as Samsung’s built-in adverts, however it’s not far off.
Value and availability
Right here’s the place issues get a bit trickier. The X50 Professional is out now in China, and Vivo has introduced that it’s getting a worldwide launch. That’s rolling out over “the approaching three months,” nevertheless, and the one confirmed European nations are Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan – no point out of the UK or the remainder of western Europe.
It’s seemingly we gained’t see the X50 Professional launch right here formally, however not less than an japanese European launch will make the cellphone simpler to import. Pricing can also be unknown for now, however the Chinese language pricing of CNY4,298 (£485/$600) for the 128GB mannequin, and CNY4,698 (£530/$660) for 256GB offers us some concept of what to anticipate.
If the western pricing is pricing is comparable, that makes the X50 Professional fairly aggressive, particularly since that gimbal digicam gives one thing that for the second you possibly can solely discover on this cellphone.
Nonetheless, for now not less than shopping for the X50 Professional will contain importing it, so that you may need to take a look at our rating of the very best mid-range telephones you should buy within the US and UK for related choices which can be a bit simpler to pay money for.
The Vivo X50 Professional will reside and die by its digicam. Elsewhere, this can be a first rate upper-mid-range cellphone with stable specs, slick design, and so-so software program.
However if you would like in-camera gimbal stabilisation for movies or low mild images, that is the one sport on the town. Throw within the 5x optical zoom periscope, the portrait lens, and wide-angle and it’s simple to see the enchantment.
Nonetheless, for a lot of this digicam oomph might be overkill, so determine fastidiously. In the event you’re unlikely to benefit from it then there are many different Snapdragon 765G telephones that supply related specs for much less outdoors of images
Vivo X50 Professional: Specs
6.5in FHD+ (1080×2376) AMOLED, 90Hz, HDR10+
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor
128/256GB inside storage
48Mp f/1.6 major digicam with gimbal stabilisation
8Mp f/2.2 ultrawide
8Mp 5x optical periscope
13Mp f/2.5 2x optical portrait
32Mp f/2.5 selfie digicam
Fingerprint scanner (in-screen)
11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
4315mAh non-removable battery
33W quick charging
159 x 73 x 8mm